Matilda’s Magnolias: Fresh Flowers on Wheels
Upon walking up to Matilda’s Magnolias “Flower Bar” truck, you are greeted by an amazing array of freshly cut flowers—beautifully arranged for you to enjoy. You can almost forget the hustle and bustle that is the heart of San Francisco and just step away into this wonderful aesthetic on wheels.
Bob Cut visited Matt and Emily Boschetto’s flower bar last week, and chatted with them about their passion for blooms, their mission’s beginnings, and what they have slated in the coming months.
Matilda’s Magnolias is not your average flower shop—they’re aiming to capture that Silicon Valley spirit and channel it into the flower industry. Owners Matt and Emily Boschetto know a thing or two about buds—Matt’s great-grandparents migrated from Italy and established themselves as flower farmers here in the Bay Area decades ago.
“My family emigrated from Genoa in 1912, and they moved to the East Bay and were rose growers. They were rose growers for three generations,” Matt told Bob Cut. “They sold the farms in the early ‘70s and they’re still wholesalers. I’ve had flowers in my blood and in my family for a long time.”
Matilda’s Magnolias prides themselves on this ethos. To this day, they maintain relationships with their growers and give their customers the best of what is in season.
“We have a few prime partners in the area and the connections actually go back to my family’s history as rose growers. They’re actually full of italian immigrant rose growers from the area from who we buy mostly,” he explained. “They’re based out of Petaluma but also throughout California. For us it's about supporting farmers in our area.”
Their model is of the consumer focused variety—you can pick out your choice of flowers from their flower truck or order a “Bloom Box” off of their website. It will then be shipped to you with a few easy instructions on how to arrange the buds into something beautiful. Plus, the entire process cost friendly.
“In America generally, flowers have become ridiculously expensive, and there’s really no need for it. It doesn’t help the farmers and it doesn’t help the consumer,” said Emily Boschetto. “For us, it was thinking how we can drive volume and build relationships with farmers, while still giving good value to the customer.“
And the truck is more than a memorable icon. “Because we’re a new concept, the truck’s really a vehicle to teach people about what we do—which is flowers in a box that you do yourself,” Matt explained. “The truck is literally a vehicle to get our name out there and each people about the concept. Most of our sales are driven through the truck.”
The business is named after their daughter Matilda. Emily spent years working in marketing at IBM and Unilever and realized that there was nothing more important than family and pursuing your passion.
“You have to make a choice when you have a child,” Emily told us. “When we had [our daughter] Matilda—the inspiration for where the business came from—we were in London at the time and we saw the opportunity to create a bloombox concept. While we were off on maternity leave, we took a year out to develop this business idea. We had an awakening about what was important in life, and we decided to take the brave step to come back to San Francisco and set up our own business. ”
Matt and Emily tested the idea in London, and were inspired to bring it back to San Francisco to set up their flagship business. With consumers having an appetite for the business model in London, they felt that a true tester of the idea’s success was if it could make it in the valley. They’re confident that if their business flourishes in the competitive, tech laden world that is the Bay Area, they have a model for success with far reach.
From here, the Boschettos hope to grow their business in the Bay Area and eventually expand out to LA and across the U.S. For now, they’re happy to be pioneering the democratization of the flower industry—providing affordable, beautiful blooms for everyone.
// Photography by Sahil Rawool; matildasmagnolias.com.